Roxy Music mastermind Bryan Ferry recently collaborated with Netflix on the German period drama Babylon Berlin, an experience that served as the inspiration for a new solo album called Bitter-Sweet. Due out November 30th, the album will, like 2012’s The Jazz Age, be credited to Bryan Ferry and His Orchestra.
The album, which further explores Ferry’s jazz influences, includes reinterpretations of Roxy Music cuts like “While My Heart Is Still Beating” and “Dance Away”. Ferry is also tinkering with some of his own solo songs, such as the title track, which Ferry’s refashioned as a sumptuous, smoky affair buoyed by melancholic horns. Hear it below.
Per Exclaim, Princeton University musicologist Simon Morrison wrote liner notes for the album, including the below excerpt:
Bitter-Sweet accomplishes what the modernists of the past, in their youthful enthusiasm, could not. Ferry’s music embraces the artifice of art as well as the artlessness of emotion so that the ‘sad affair’ described at the start leads you to “break down and cry” by the end. Thus we are transported to the Berlin of the Tacheles club and the Chamäleon, to the zeitgeist of that jazz-friendly metropolis in the young 20th century — the hedonistic world of Babylon Berlin. Unlike that instrumental affair, however, new record Bitter-Sweet contains vocals, and is prompted by the songwriter’s work on the Sky Atlantic/Netflix series Babylon Berlin. Re-working some Roxy Music and solo classics, it aims to capture the freshness, the sheer modernity of 1920s jazz and the birth of popular culture.
Pre-order the album here, and check out its artwork and tracklist below. Also, be sure to listen to Kyle Meredith’s recent interview with Ferry, in which he expresses a desire to record more music with former bandmate Brian Eno.
02. Reason Or Rhyme
03. Sign Of The Times
04. New Town
07. Dance Away
09. Sea Breezes
10. While My Heart Is Still Beating
11. Bitters End
12. Chance Meeting
13. Boys And Girls